SCP #17: Briar Rose
I dived a little way back in to my secret past with today's piece. My music degree was my fourth attempt at tertiary study, and the only degree I managed to complete. When I was much younger I studied almost all of a textile design diploma, but gave it up because it was destroying my love of making things. I'm not sure why studying music didn't do the same, perhaps just because I was older and more sure of my path.
Through my textile design phase I was particularly interested in knitting, and spinning my own yarns. I own a spinning wheel that is collecting dust at my parents' house (sorry Mum and Dad...), but before the spinning wheel I taught myself to spin yarn using just a simple homemade spindle. While preparing this song I found that spindle in a box of knitting machine parts, and in a fit of procrastination took a picture of it for my Instagram. In case you're interested, here's a video demonstrating how a spindle works (complete with a Scottish accent that makes me and my Australian drawl horribly jealous):
Before this strays too far from music, the reason I am talking about spindles is because of yesterday's reference to spinning tops. I took that as a prompt for today, and followed a Google trail to Sleeping Beauty and her spindle, or Briar Rose as she is called in my book of Grimm fairytales. Most of the illustrated and animated versions of this story show her pricking her finger on a spinning wheel, which is probably a more interesting contraption to draw than a simple hand spindle, which is what is actually referenced in the story in my book. I latched onto some evocative descriptions in the story of the whole castle falling under the sleeping spell, including doves under eaves and flies on the walls. At the end of the story, once the hundred years' sleep are up, the thorny briars that have grown around the castle erupt into roses and the lucky Prince can pass unscathed to claim his princess prize. Those two ideas went into this piece, and although it started with spindles it ended up somewhere else. I was getting frustrated trying to finding some kind of melodic idea I liked, so I decided to give myself an extreme restriction of using just one note, which forced me to play with the rhythm to compensate. I should probably also have put a warning at the start of the post that it turned out quite unintentionally suggestive, which was absolutely not planned.